[WORLD CUP COUNTDOWN] Brazil coach Dunga picked his 22-player squad for his team's last scheduled friendly before the World Cup, a March 2 game against Ireland in London, and he didn't included Ronaldinho despite the former World Player of the Year's return to form with AC Milan in recent months.
“All players still have chances,” Dunga said. “We made an analysis of what are the best solutions needed for the national team and at this moment [Ronaldinho] is not part of them.”
The Brazil press, though, cast doubt on Dunga changing his mind between now and the end of the Italian season when he must pick the Brazil team for the World Cup.
Julio Baptista, a reserve at Roma, was picked ahead of Ronaldinho.
Robinho, who recently returned to Brazil to play for Santos, remained in Dunga's squad, as did every starter from the 2009 Confederations Cup final against the USA except left back Andre Santos.
The surprise pick was 33-year-old Gilberto of Cruzeiro, who now is the favorite to take over the left back spot, the only position up for grabs in the Brazil lineup.
Goalkeepers: Doni (Roma, Italy), Julio Cesar (Inter Milan, Italy)
Defenders: Daniel Alves (Barcelona, Spain), Gilberto (Cruzeiro), Juan (Roma, Italy), Lucio (Inter Milan, Italy), Luisao (Benfica. Portugal), Maicon (Inter Milan, Italy), Michel Bastos (Lyon, France), Thiago Silva (AC Milan, Italy)
Midfielders: Elano (Galatasaray, Turkey), Felipe Melo (Juventus, Italy), Gilberto Silva (Panathinaikos, Greece), Josue (Wolfsburg, Germany), Julio Baptista (Roma, Italy), Kleberson (Flamengo), Kaka (Real Madrid, Spain), Ramires (Benfica, Portugal)
Forwards: Adriano (Flamengo), Luis Fabiano (Sevilla, Spain), Nilmar (Villarreal, Spain), Robinho (Santos)